Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thoughts on national poetry days

We have been asked why we didn't have a suitably commemorative or stimulating post for National Poetry Day on whenever it was earlier this month. Strange to say p&g was writing.

There are a few answers we could give to this question: e.g.
  • sometimes we do if there are cool events
  • we are techies
  • we just do stuff when we want
  • autumn
  • this is a national day not a world religion
  • what would Elizabeth Bishop have done?

Being at our most Australian on these kind of issues, I can only add that it seems a shame if poetry pays the price of becoming more popular* by expecting total conformity.

Anyway if you like poetry days here is some information

Is poetry more popular btw? when did that get decided?

National Poetry Competition last call

Yes you probably already know you have one week left. Maybe you sent in your entry months ago. Or maybe you were hedging your bets waiting to see what looked good and what was available. Or maybe you are putting the final touches to the great work right now.

Whatever way deadline is the end of next week 31st October. Prize £5K.

More details on this Poetry Society UK competition and how to enter here

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sorting algorithms and editing

Yes it has all been quiet. An editing kind of quiet.

Lots going on but not much to see. As a result I have enjoyed looking at the visualisation of sorts by Timo Bingmann.

Audibilisation too!

Sorting algorithms have a weird fascination for me and encourage me to think of a kind of mechanisation of editing.

So imagine some different passes:

  • checking for duplicate words - are they good/bad/emphatic/a mistake
  • internal rhyme - wow! just enjoy it...maybe turn it up a bit here and there
  • rhythm - check?
  • rhyme - scheme? does it have one? should it?
  • stanza? signs of dehiscence? what happens if I break the normal big fat strand of verse into boxes of say 3 lines, 6 lines. 4 lines...oh feedback into rhyme scheme and recheck...
  • vocabulary - what it is saying about the poem?
  • and so on...

So that is what I am up to right now,

You can find the sorting algorithms here

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Call for poetry Pure Slush Five

Pure Slush celebrates their 5 year anniversary in December 2015 ... by publishing a print anthology based on the theme ‘five’.

'Five' cover image by Allen Forrest

Your poetry submission must be:
  • original, so previously unpublished online or in print
  • 500 words max
  • somehow incorporate 5 - that bit is up to you
And remember submissions close on 15th December 2015.

Please submit via Submittable with Five, the Story title and Word length in the submission title here


Interesting that October can be sere and wilting or fruitful, sensual and pixelated depending on how you look. A Sunday walk anyone?

Send us some #October photos.

Or try the guided poetry walk next Saturday 10th October at Traquair part of the Curved Stream project. Poet Ken Cockburn who is well-known for his translations and collaborations with visual artists, writes a response to an 18th century painting of Diana and Actaeon which survives in the ceiling of a Garden Pavilion.You can find out more here